Modrall Sperling Law Firm

Recent Biden Administration Orders Affecting the Energy Industry

In his first week in office, President Biden and administration officials have issued various Executive Orders, memoranda and other agency directives reversing previous Trump Administration policies and/or establishing new policies for federal agencies, which some have characterized as a fossil fuel freeze….

POSTED IN: Alerts, News

New Mexico’s Public Lands Commissioner Announces Intention to End Easements to State Lands for Pumping Fresh Groundwater

Public Lands Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard on December 15, 2020 informed companies holding easements granting access for pumping fresh water from state trust lands managed by the New Mexico State Land Office (SLO) that SLO will not be renewing their easements, nor…

POSTED IN: Alerts

New Mexico’s Conditional Certification of EPA’s Proposed Reissuance of the Multi Sector General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity Raises Significant Concerns

Background In mid-2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to reissue the Multi Sector General Permit (MSGP) for stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity (Permit NMR050000) under the Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 402 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).  Section 401…

POSTED IN: Alerts

New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission Adopts Rule Changes Concerning Produced Water

On September 3, 2020, the New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission adopted rules changes concerning produced water. See OCC Order No. R-21343-A (Sept. 3, 2020). Under the Produced Water Act, signed into law in 2019, the Commission and the Oil Conservation Division of…

POSTED IN: Alerts

New Mexico Environment Department’s Surface Water Quality Bureau Begins Triennial Review Process

On November 2, 2020, the New Mexico Environment Department’s (“NMED”) Surface Water Quality Bureau (“SWQB”) issued its notice inviting public comment on NMED’s proposed amendments to the State’s standards for interstate and intrastate surface water quality, codified under 20.6.4 NMAC. NMED issued…

POSTED IN: Alerts

New Mexico’s Proposed Methane Rules

Executive Order 2019-003 One month after she assumed office on January 1, 2019, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued Executive Order 2019-003.  The executive order finds that methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and that the oil and gas industry is…

POSTED IN: Alerts

New Mexico’s 2020 Statewide Water Quality Management Plan and Continuing Planning Process Approved by EPA

On October 23, 2020, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved New Mexico’s 2020 Statewide Water Quality Management Plan and Continuing Planning Process (WQMP/CPP). Broadly speaking, the WQMP/CPP outlines the processes by which New Mexico manages its water quality programs, including…

POSTED IN: Alerts, Uncategorized

Are Your Overrides Really Pooled? REALLY?

The answer may depend on whether they were created by assignment or by reservation. An uncommitted overriding royalty interest in a unitized tract can gum the works.  Its owner can claim her full undiluted percentage of production from a drillsite tract, forcing…

POSTED IN: Articles

Solenex, LLC v. Bernhardt, Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior: Cancellation of 1982 Oil and Gas Lease Upheld – Significant Cultural and Religious Lands of the Badger-Two Medicine Area in Montana

Introduction and Setting           On June 16, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia wrote what could be the last chapter in a long-running dispute over an oil and gas lease issued by…

POSTED IN: Alerts, Articles

Court Resuscitates NWP 12 But Only for Non-Pipeline Projects

The United States District Court for the District of Montana breathed partial life back into Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP 12) in its May 11, 2020 decision limiting the scope of its April 15, 2020 vacatur of NWP 12 to new construction of…

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